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Amazing Spider-Man Comic-Con Thunder Stolen by Ifans Arrest

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood July 23, 2011 at 6:30AM

The big reveal at Sony's Friday The Amazing Spider-Man panel at Comic-Con was the villain of Marc Webb's superhero reboot, The Lizard, played by gifted Welsh actor Rhys Ifans, who is pixellated when in giant Lizard mode. In Hall H the studio screened a clip of Lizard terrorizing two school girls in a school lavatory, breaking up through a toilet. (The LAT made a fuss about Ifans here).
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Thompson on Hollywood

The big reveal at Sony's Friday The Amazing Spider-Man panel at Comic-Con was the villain of Marc Webb's superhero reboot, The Lizard, played by gifted Welsh actor Rhys Ifans, who is pixellated when in giant Lizard mode. In Hall H the studio screened a clip of Lizard terrorizing two school girls in a school lavatory, breaking up through a toilet. (The LAT made a fuss about Ifans here).

But Friday night Ifans was arrested by San Diego police after an alleged altercation with a female security guard, reports The Wrap. The next day, real news of his arrest for misdemeanor battery (on his 44th birthday) eclipsed the promo event, although the fans in Hall H had no idea of what had just taken place when he arrived late to the panel; he didn't say much.

Thompson on Hollywood

Here's more from The Wrap:


Ifans, who smelled of alcohol, became irate when a member of his entourage was unable to enter the hall for lack of proper credentialing, police said. He shoved the guard, and was allowed to participate in the panel, but the guard subsequently made a citizen's arrest. "He was aggressive and belligerent," Lt. Andra Brown said of the Welsh actor. "He was...berating everyone from the security staff to the United States of America." Ifans was cited and released, and must now pay a fine or contest the case before a judge.

The panel began as new Spider-Man Andrew Garfield posed as a questioner in the hall wearing a standard-issue Spider-Man costume. The tall lanky actor ripped off the mask and read a heartfelt speech about the impact of Spider-Man on the culture and generations of fans. "Spider-Man saved my life," he said with a straight face. "It's another chapter in a long history of a comic story that means so much to so many people."

Garfield joined Emma Stone and director Marc Webb on the panel. The 3-D footage, which looked darker than the Sam Raimi iterations, with more emphasis on the POV of Spider-Man, and more enhanced CG flying, played well in the hall. One key difference between this version and the original, besides co-stars Campbell Scott as Parker's father and Martin Sheen as his uncle, said Garfield, is that Peter Parker takes three years to design mechanical web-shooters. Hopefully the movie won't take that long.

Here's the trailer that broke before the Con.

[Ifans photo courtesy of the LAT.]

This article is related to: Directors, Festivals, Franchises, Genres, Headliners, Studios, News, Comic-Con, Spider-Man, Sequel, Remake, Comics, Andrew Garfield


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.